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Time is now to send holiday packages to those in uniform

If you want to send a holiday gift to a military member overseas, you might want to start now.

The deadline for sending parcel-post items to foreign troops is in mid-November. But Terri Michlig of the Green Bay Post Office says a lot of mail will be heading to the bases, so it's important to get it sent as soon as possible.

The postal service will not take mail addressed only to "any service member." There must be specific addresses and those without them will be returned.

Lt. Col. Richard Appel of Green Bay's 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion says troops appreciate unique items they cannot get on the base, like venison jerky. He says phone cards are popular because it's very expensive to call home.

Appel says holiday gifts help the troops' morale. But it's even better for them to be home. Appel's unit is expected to return from Iraq next month.